Alaska on Friday reported 290 COVID-19 infections and no new deaths, according to the state Department of Health and Social Services.
Friday’s case count continues a trend of declining infection numbers following a peak in November and early December that prompted concerns about hospital capacity.
As of Friday, there were 48 people with COVID-19 in hospitals throughout the state and another three patients suspected to have the virus. Seven of these patients were on ventilators. Hospitalizations are now less than a third of where they were during the peak in November and December.
In total, 252 Alaskans and two nonresidents with COVID-19 have died since the pandemic reached the state in March. This week, a record 24 deaths were reported by the state on Wednesday, the majority of which were identified during a review of death certificates completed over the last several months.
Alaska’s death rate per capita is still among the lowest in the country, though the state’s size and vulnerable health care system complicate national comparisons.
Vaccines first arrived in the state in December and by Friday at least 72,899 people — nearly 10% of the state’s population — had received the first dose, according to the state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard. At least 16,186 people had received the second dose. Alaska has currently vaccinated more residents per capita than any other state, according to a national tracker.
Health care workers and nursing home staff and residents were the first group to receive the vaccinations. Early this month, the state opened up the vaccines to adults older than 65, although appointment slots are limited and have filled quickly.
For more information about vaccination appointments, visit covidvax.alaska.gov or call 907-646-3322 and leave a message. A recording says calls will be returned in the order they’re received within 48 hours, but some users have reported longer delays.
Of the 262 cases reported in Alaska residents Friday, there were 102 in Anchorage plus two in Chugiak and six in Eagle River; one in Anchor Point; three in Kenai; one in Sterling; six in Kodiak; one in Healy; 26 in Fairbanks plus six in North Pole; one in Big Lake; 11 in Palmer; one in Sutton-Alpine; 23 in Wasilla; three in Nome; two in Juneau; three in Ketchikan; five in Unalaska; and nine in Bethel.
Among communities with populations under 1,000 people not named to protect privacy, there was one in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area; three in the Fairbanks North Star Borough; three in the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area; two in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area; one in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough; two in the Nome Census Area; one in the North Slope Borough; 18 in the Northwest Arctic Borough; two in Yakutat plus Hoonah-Angoon; two in the Aleutians East Borough; eight in the Bethel Census Area; one in Bristol Bay plus Lake and Peninsula; four in the Dillingham Census Area; and two in the Kusilvak Census Area.
Twenty-eight nonresidents in the state also tested positive for the virus, including two in Anchorage, one in Seward, two in Wasilla, one in Prudhoe Bay, 18 in the Aleutians East Borough, and four in Unalaska.
While people might get tested more than once, each case reported by the state health department represents only one person.
The state’s data doesn’t specify whether people testing positive for COVID-19 have symptoms. More than half of the nation’s infections are transmitted from asymptomatic people, according to CDC estimates.
Over the past week, 3.45% of all tests completed statewide came back positive.